The Third Most Embarrassing Moment of My Life

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In February 2008, in a post where I went on and on about being tired (because I was pregnant with Libbie and didn’t know it yet), I promised to tell you about a very … ahem … special day in my young life.

Nothing like a two-year wait to build some interest, right?

Jessie 8th Grade Dance

Me. 8th grade dance. The whiteness is frightening!

It was a day like any other day at Salem Church Middle School. I was 13, majorly self-conscious, and in French class, where I sat in the front row with two friends and got a 100 on everything. (Don’t think much of me–when I went to a magnet high school the next year I quickly discovered I learned nothing in that first year of French.)

Sitting with my friends, though, did make me feel a little powerful. One of them was the smartest girl in school. One of them was cool, unlike myself. We flirted mercilessly with the French-learners that sat behind us and answered every question correctly. Our French names were Christine, Marie-Christine, and Marie-Rose.

On this fateful day, however, all semblances of coolness were lost as I lost my lunch into the classroom trashcan.


I still remember the torture of looking-on faces and the red that overtook my own face. The dash to the infirmary. The nurse’s insistence that I WASN’T REALLY SICK ’cause I had the nerve to speak to someone else in the office. (Now that I think about it, that might have been another time. But it sounds really good here, right?)

My mom picked me up, toted me home, set me up on the couch, and warned me that there would probably be more puking. My sister had just had the same lovely virus. Patting my forehead with a damp cloth and sticking Jell-o in the refrigerator, she had to head back to work for a short bit while I slept. I see the blue couch where it rested in our Richmond family room; how she always pulled the coffee table close so we could reach our glasses of ginger ale and set a wastebasket by our heads.

Stumbling back and forth to the bathroom, it was that afternoon I discovered that I was “a woman now.” Almost 14. Finally. But now?


And thus began the lovely cycle of how my period makes my immune system die.

So you know, my French teacher proudly proclaimed in front of the class when I returned that I managed to get a 101 on the quiz we took that day despite all circumstances. Yep, I bet that made everyone think I was awesome.

Now, aren’t you glad you waited two years for that story? Please, let the mocking begin!

7 thoughts on “The Third Most Embarrassing Moment of My Life

  1. Hi Jessie! Lyndsay recently told me to look at Scott's blog to see pictures of their trip to Australia, and from there, I found your blog! Vomit story day is always a good day to find someone's blog 🙂 Libbie is adorable! How is your husband? Is high school teaching going well? I only have his Vanderbilt email address, which may have expired by now, but Bill and I have been curious how things were going. Hope all is well with y'all!

  2. Mocking? Are you kidding? What a TERRIBLE day!!

    My French name was Monique. Not that you need to know that. But there it is. 🙂

  3. third most? have you shared the top 2?
    …Remember the time I was on my knees in the NYC subway puking into a bag? In front of strangers, but I think equally embarrassing. Oh an then the mad dash to the bathroom in the basement of the WTC as soon as I got off of the subway. Puking stories are always the worst.
    On a side note, I'm your little sis and didn't even mock you.
    And, my name in French class was Veronique. 🙂

  4. Um, yeah, I was a full grown adult who had to run off the floor of my call center job only to discover that the closest bathroom was occupied. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and ended up puking in the break room trash can while people who were EATING sat there and watched me. It was TERRIBLE! BTW, I wasn’t sick from the pregnancy, but from a stomach bug that my 2 year old (at the time) gave me. Lovely. Now I work from home! 🙂

    • Oh that is awful. I was glad to not be in an office when I was puking with my third pregnancy (and often peeing myself as the same time, because THIRD baby). Thankfully I didn’t do TOO much throwing up during my first, when I worked in an office.

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